The Giver and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [book reviews]

I've been rereading books lately (including The Geography of Nowhere, reviewed here) and reading magazines, but here are two books I read with my kids in the past month. The Giver by Lois Lowry My seventh-grade son Nicholas read this book in school and then, coincidentally, was given a copy by his sixth-grade cousin who'd … Continue reading The Giver and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [book reviews]

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Time Travel, Story Structure, and Unconvincing Women [book reviews]

It's been several months since I've posted book reviews.  Here's what I've been reading.... Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal This novel has an extremely interesting structure, on which is hung a story that doesn't need to be told this way, if it needs to be told at all.  Each chapter is … Continue reading Time Travel, Story Structure, and Unconvincing Women [book reviews]

Walkable City, Visible City, and 4 more book reviews

My brother got me two books about cities for my birthday--one fiction and one nonfiction, both great books with great covers! Here they are, along with reviews of the other books I've read recently. Walkable City by Jeff Speck I love living in a walkable urban neighborhood!  This book by a city planner told me a … Continue reading Walkable City, Visible City, and 4 more book reviews

Compost Blanketing the Sahara

Last night, Daniel and I were talking about what might happen with Africa in this century.  It's an interesting question, considering that Africa has an unusually young population, many unstable governments, metals that are hard to find anywhere else on Earth, significant presence of both Christian and Muslim fundamentalists, and very uneven distribution of resources.  All kinds … Continue reading Compost Blanketing the Sahara

How to make it from scratch instead of a package: Chipotle Simmer Sauce

My son Nicholas is 12 years old and often tells us about meals and snacks he enjoyed in his friends' homes.  Last month, when we were shopping at Target, he pointed out a package of sauce that was the exact type his friend's mother had used on the delicious fajitas. I told him I wasn't … Continue reading How to make it from scratch instead of a package: Chipotle Simmer Sauce

Wallflowers and Oranges Unbound! (book reviews)

I've been catching up on my magazines this month, but I've also read three books... The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Charlie is a friendless teenager beginning his freshman year at a high school in the affluent southern suburbs of Pittsburgh.  The book is a series of "Dear friend," letters he's writing … Continue reading Wallflowers and Oranges Unbound! (book reviews)

4 Great Poetry Books for Young Children

Our two-year-old Lydia loves poetry!  Most young children enjoy hearing rhyming, rhythmic words, but Lydia is particularly fascinated.  We have many picture books with rhyming text--like the wonderful works of Dr. Seuss--but we've also found several longer poetry books that she enjoys and so do we. Poetry is very helpful in getting children interested in … Continue reading 4 Great Poetry Books for Young Children

What I’ve Learned By Reading Too Much (and 4 other books!)

In addition to finishing the books I got for Christmas in time for my birthday, I've read a few other new-to-me books recently, including one that actually has the alternate title What I've Learned By Reading Too Much!  I learned something from each of these books. The Dance of Anger by Harriet G. Lerner This … Continue reading What I’ve Learned By Reading Too Much (and 4 other books!)

Have you anything to eat? a food-waste prevention challenge!

According to the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus was resurrected from the dead and appeared to his disciples, he said, "Have you anything here to eat?"  He must have been really hungry after being dead for three days!  In that spirit, as Easter approaches, I'm challenging all of you--Christians and everybody else--to do what you … Continue reading Have you anything to eat? a food-waste prevention challenge!